BY: NICOLE DEFOREST
Even if you’re an experienced traveller, when you travel with an infant there are some rules and regulations you and the airlines need to follow. An infant is free when flying (Just pay infant tax usually around $19.00) but is lap held and will not have his or her own seat. An infant is considered under the age of two at time of travel. Please do not book a trip where the child turns two while travelling as you will need to pay for a seat on the return and there are no exceptions on this one.
If there are any extra unsold seats once onboard you may be able to get it for free, or you can ask while booking how much it would cost to have to book the infant in a condemned seat now. Try not waiting for a “sell off” when travelling with infants, as each plane is limitedly equipped for this. Most planes can only accommodate 4-8 infants per flight.
Most airlines will allow you check two of your three main necessities for your infant for free (car seat, stroller and playpen) I would recommend you keep your stroller until you board the plane and gate check it. You’re usually at the airport for a few hours before the flight and it would be a lot of work carrying around your baby especially if you have carry-on items. Your stroller will also be ready when you get off the plane if you gate check it.
You are allowed to bring a baby bag on top of your one piece of carry-on and personal item. This bag should be easily accessible and stocked with enough amenities you might need for the flight. Liquids over 100ml are not allowed in your carry on however when travelling with infants under two years of age you can bring formula/milk/juice etc. on board; only enough for the amount of time it will take to get to your final destination of travel. Have your liquids ready when going through customs as they will open and test them, and some may even ask you to drink from it.
Don’t be afraid once on the plane you will get a debriefing from the flight attendant on how to hold the baby during takeoff and landing, which bathroom has a change table and anything else they think you might need to know for the flight. This would be the time to also ask your questions if you have any concerns while on board.
When ascending up into the air their ears are harder to pop so I strongly recommend giving them something to suck or eat on during takeoff and landing to help with this.
Talk to your doctor about children’s gravel for the flight if your infant gets sick easily due to motion, or if you want them to sleep during the flight.
Travelling with an infant can be easy if you’re prepared and have a better understanding of the process.